Gordon Ramsay – restaurateur, businessman and TV personality – was one of the architects of the international ‘celebrity chef’ phenomenon.
At the age of 15 Gordon was scouted by Glasgow Rangers and was signed to the club, but after three years of professional football, he gave up the sport and turned to his first love, cooking.
Gordon’s first foray into top class restaurant kitchens was with Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s in Wandsworth. He then moved on to La Gavroche, and then to France for three years where he perfected classic French cooking.
It was his appointment as head chef of Aubergine that brought him to the critics’ attention. Within three years of opening he had won two Michelin stars.
Gordon began to publish cooking books, including Passion for Flavour, Passion for Seafood and A Chef for all Seasons, Just Desserts and Secrets.
In 1998 Gordon set up his own restaurant, Gordon Ramsay, and a year later he opened Petrus with Marcus Waering, which won a Michelin star. He was only 32.
By now the Michelin stars and awards were flooding in. Chef of the Year Award at the Cateys; Top Restaurant in the U.K by Zagats, and best Fine Dining Restaurant in the 2001 Harden's Guide.
Michelin starred Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s opened in 2001, and the following year Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited took over the whole of the food and beverage operation at The Connaught Hotel.
As his empire broadened, The Savoy Grill and The Boxwood Café opened.
In 2004 Gordon’s TV career took off. Channel 4’s BAFTA nominated Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares launched simultaneously with the book Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Heaven, and was followed by the ITV series Hell's Kitchen.
After breaking into US TV, Gordon presented Channel 4's The F-Word, published a sixth book, Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy, and opened an eighth restaurant, Maze.
The Conrad Tokyo was Gordon’s first restaurant in Japan, and in the same year he was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list.
His entrepreneurial spirit took him into retail, as the Gordon Ramsay tableware and ovenware range became available in partnership with Royal Doulton.
Gordon made his stateside debut in 2006 with the opening of Gordon Ramsay at The London in New York City.
His autobiography, Humble Pie is a candid account of his life both in and out of the kitchen.
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Copyright Speakers Corner 2014